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Blade size/type

 
Posts: 48
Location: Reeds Spring, MO; zone 6b Ozarks
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Hi friends: I'm looking for my first scythe and would appreciate guidance on the best fit for my situation.

I plan to get a European-style scythe to maintain our suburbanish property. We have about a half-acre that was once planted in a mostly Bermuda grass lawn, but is now a mixture of grasses and weeds. We will have very little lawn eventually once we get all our food forest and gardens in, but for now I need to keep things mowed to a reasonable level. The ground is very uneven, sloping, and rocky; it's also broken up constantly by fruit trees, shrubs, pathways, etc., with just a couple open areas where I can mow steadily.

Given that, I'm leaning toward a blade on the shorter end. I will be maintaining a lawn (not cutting brush or large weeds), but based on my description of the land, do you think I should look at a light ditch blade? Or one of those TOPS blades that Scythe Supply sells? I definitely want to keep things as light as possible and be able to cut to a "lawn" look, but it seems like my situation might call for something sturdier than a grass blade.
 
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Grass blades can generally handle sparse weeds and resistant stems no problem. The reason for choosing shorter/thicker blades is usually more to do with the density of those kinds of growth. Generally if you're dealing with mostly grass with some other kinds of growth in it, the grass blade is what you want. It's only if the bulk of what you're mowing is resistant weeds or woody suckers/canes that you'd want to move to a ditch blade or brush blade.
 
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I'd probably go with a short grass blade. When I first got a scythe (from Scythe Supply) for our own little suburban space, I ordered the longest grass blade they had. It's good for wide open spaces, but I find it tricky in narrow areas. That has more to do with my skill level than the blade, of course, but a shorter one would be easier to maneuver. I did pick up a "gardener's blade" from SS later on, which you might want to look into. It's a good deal shorter, and I find that one handy not only in the garden but also for tight spaces in the lawn, etc.
 
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Short  blade is easier to handle around obstacles.
Unless you are skillfully mowing hay go with a short blade.
 
pollinator
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Location: 4b
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I ordered a shorter, 26" if I remember correctly, ditch blade with the idea that I will order a grass blade after I practice a little and clear some of the thicker brush with the ditch blade.  At $70 a blade, I wouldn't say they are cheap, but cheaper than maintenance, gas, and oil for a lawn mower, along with the ability to use different blades to clear different areas.  And ah, peace and quiet.
 
Matt Mill
Posts: 48
Location: Reeds Spring, MO; zone 6b Ozarks
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Thanks, all. Sounds like the short grass blade it is.

I would guess I will want that garden blade eventually too, but not as my starter blade.
 
Posts: 34
Location: Middle Tennesee zone 7b
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I ordered a setup from scythe supply, with the 28" TOPS blade. I didn't like it very much at first. I also ordered a 50cm falci 151 blade from OSR. I like this blade a lot, it came very sharp but more of a brush blade edge. I have a little more than an acre of steep hillside. I really didn't like the scythe supply snath. I paid extra for their sharpening service, and I sorely disappointed in the condition of the blade when it came, but times are tough and it wasn't worth the effort of calling them over $7... the stone that came with the setup is pretty medium, so coming off the peening jig it takes forever to get it into shape since the jigs center post mangles the edge pretty well. I ended up getting one of the fux snaths from OSR and it's miles better. I got a bull thistle stone and a fine dopplebock stone and a anvil setup.  I spent a long time peening the TOPS blade on the anvil and used the bull thistle stone and the finer stone on it, and it was also much better. I need to spend a little more time with it but I think for the bigger areas it will do the job well. I'm not super impressed with it though, if I had the chance to do it again I would have started with the one scythe revolution setup, and a regular anvil, even though they are more expensive. I still would have gotten the 50cm blade but probably another falci blade in the 28-30 inch range, they can take a lot more grass in one swipe, but having a shorter blade is very nice for tight areas. Out of the stuff I got from scythe supply, the TOPS blade and the whetstone holder is really the only stuff I still use. I did peen the falci blade out to be more of a thinner grass edge because that's what I use it for more than rough weeds and it cuts grass just fine. It also cuts weeds just fine. I have been seeing a small 35cm blade by falci, I'm thinking about getting it because 50cm is a little big for my garden path but it's still workable... I really wish I could speak well of scythe supply, they are super nice folks but the quality just isn't there
 
Douglas Campbell
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scytheworks.ca are helpful.
My grandfather was a master with,a long American blade, but scytheworks set me up with a short Italian ditch scythe,
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